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Julian Assange plans to leave Ecuadorian embassy 'soon'

Julian Assange plans to leave Ecuadorian embassy 'soon'


WikiLeaks founder is suffering from health problems after living in exile for two years, but details on his departure remain vague

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he will soon leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in a move that would end a two-year standoff with authorities. Assange has been living under asylum at the embassy since 2012, after Swedish investigators called him in for questioning over allegations of sexual assault. Assange faces likely arrest if he leaves the grounds of the Ecuadorian embassy, and has feared that doing so would result in his extradition to the US, where the Justice Department has been investigating WikiLeaks since the organization began publishing troves of classified diplomatic cables in 2010.

At a press conference Monday, the 43-year-old Australian national told reporters that he will leave the embassy "soon," but "not for the reasons the Murdoch press are saying at the moment." Reports have suggested that Assange needs medical care for heart and lung ailments, and that he has suffered from a vitamin D deficiency due to a lack of sunlight. At today's press conference, Assange implied that he has faced "difficulties" with his health, but did not elaborate further. He didn't provide details on when he may leave the embassy or how his departure may play out, adding further intrigue to his ongoing international saga.